Our Environmental and Water Research

The Center's research in this area spans a variety of environmental policy topics, from water quality to sustainable infrastructure. Our goal is to invest in research that is implementable - through proposing potential policy changes or alternative problem-solving ideas. The following reports have been produced over the past four years.

Water Quality

  • Measuring Water Quality Improvements: TMDL Implementation Progress, Indicators and Tracking (2011)
    This report summarizes and synthesizes recent studies that assess progress in implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and describes indicators that can be used to understand progress in watershed restoration.  It also gives an overview of efforts to improve the ability of state and federal agencies to document the progress in TMDL implementation. This report offers recommendations to guide future efforts to develop and use indicators of TMDL implementation and watershed restoration progress to help foster improvements in water quality throughout the U.S.
  • Water Pollution Policies and the American States: Runaway Bureaucracies or Congressional Control? (2011)
    This book provides a comprehensive treatment of American water pollution policy, including its history and implementation, as well as ideas for policy reform. Focusing on Congress’s statutory directions in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act since 1948 and state compliance, Dr. Hoornbeek throws into relief the complex and often troubled relationship between the laws enacted by Congress and the public policies produced by state governments that implement them. Compliance at the state level can be affected and sometimes disturbed by national policy-making processes, state politics and the effects of federal oversight practices. The book concludes that American water pollution policy reflects neither runaway bureaucracies nor congressional control, but rather a complex intergovernmental process that is structured around Congress’s statutory directions. This book is available for purchase through the State University of New York (SUNY) Press, at http://www.sunypress.edu/
  • Water Resource Management in Northeast Ohio: Opportunities for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Economic Growth (2008)
    Published in 2008, this report assesses water resource management practices and needs in Northeast Ohio, discussing ways in which the region can manage its water resources more effectively and foster sustainable and long-term economic growth. Data was collected through interviews with 32 water resource experts and stakeholders, in conjunction with a literature review and attendance at meetings and conferences about water resource management in Northeast Ohio.
  • Implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads: Understanding and Fostering Successful Results (2008)
    Also published in 2008, this study assesses the implementation of U.S. EPA-approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in Ohio and West Virginia, focusing on the extent to which recommendations contained in TMDLs are actually implemented. TMDLs identify the amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still comply with national and state water quality standards. The results of the study address three specific issues: 1) To what extent are TMDLs being implemented in Ohio and West Virginia; 2) Identifying factors that facilitate progress in the implementation of TMDLs; and 3) Steps that can be taken to facilitate further progress in the implementation of TMDLs.
  • Sustainable Infrastructure in Shrinking Cities: Options for the Future (2009)
    This 2009 project provides a preliminary assessment of infrastructure management options for shrinking cities. The report includes a synopsis of recent literature regarding the management of water, sewer, transportation and energy infrastructure in these areas, and presents findings from a series of interviews with infrastructure management professionals. The work is focused on the city of Cleveland, but the findings are applicable to other communities.
    • Environmental Policy Integration: A New Approach for the Environment? (2006)
      This paper was prepared for presentation at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in April, 2006. This document discusses ways in which federal policy-making and implementation foster the incorporation of environmental concerns into other policy sectors such as agriculture, energy, and transportation.  It draws on a literature review to identify important federal Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) efforts in these policy sectors, and also benefits from interviews conducted with practitioners and scholars of environmental policy. In 2008, Dr. Hoornbeek, the Center’s director, also published a book chapter on this topic in Innovation in Environmental Policy: Integrating the Environment for Sustainability, Andrew Jordan and Andrea Lenschow, editors (Edward Elgar Press, 2008).